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iRiver Adds File-Format Flexibility To Audiophile Portable

Irvine, Calif. — iRiver has upgraded its audiophile-targeted MP3 player to support Apple’s AAC, ALAC and AIFF music codecs via a firmware update. 1/23/2013 08:05:00 AM Eastern

Irvine, Calif. — iRiver has upgraded its audiophile-targeted MP3 player to support Apple’s AAC, ALAC and AIFF music codecs via a firmware update.

AIFF (.AFF) is Apple’s uncompressed PCM standard, and ALAC (Apple Lossless Audio Codec) is Apple’s losslessly compressed format (.MP4a).

The Astell&Kern AK100 High Definition AK100, launched late last year at $699, is available at high-end audio stores and online at Amazon.com, Buy.com, eBay.com and iRiverInc.com.

The AK100 is also compatible with FLAC, WAV, WMA, MP3, OGG and APE files.

  The portable is iRiver’s first to play back what the company calls Mastering Quality Sound (MQS) files, or music files saved as a lossless format straight from the studio mastering source. MQS files are often in 24-bit WAV or FLAC formats, the company said. HDtracks.com provides albums encoded with Mastering Quality Sound from every major label, iRiver noted. HDtracks offers both AIFF and FLAC lossless files and 320Kbps MP3 files.

 The portable is promoted as the world’s first portable audio device equipped with a Wolfson WM8740 digital-to-analog converter (DAC). The portable also features 32GB of internal memory that can be expanded via two MicroSD card slots, each supporting an additional 32GB MicroSD card. A 2,000 mAh battery provides up to 16 hours of playback on a single charge.

The Astell&Kern offers MicroUSB connection, optical in/out and headphone out. 

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